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Lexington and 68th St. Renamed Audre Lorde Way

“People tell Black women to be silent. We don’t want to be silent.”

This is what Jacqueline Nassy Brown said in reverence of the writer and activist Audre Lorde. The professor and undergraduate adviser’s declaration was met with cheers from almost 200 people gathered in the Hunter West lobby to celebrate the naming of 68th and Lexington as Audre Lorde Way.

A Hunter alum and professor, Lorde was a pillar for civil and queer rights and often described herself as a warrior and a poet.

Hunter Staff remove a sleeve to reveal the new Audre Lorde Way streetsign.
Anthony Brown, Jennifer J. Raab, Jacqueline Nassy Brown and Keith Powers unveil Audre Lorde Way

In her honor, Hunter College, alongside the New York City Council, renamed the corner shared by the North, West and East buildings after her.

Before the historic unveiling, a ceremony led by Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab celebrated the life and work of the poet. A series of speakers recited words from Lorde, heard by over a hundred people including students and staff. Even Lorde had a few words to say as the crowd listened to her only recorded interview.

Lorde’s books were available for purchase and students were reminded of the women and gender studies courses that would touch on the work of Lorde.

“When there is someone so important to our city and our community. It felt so right and perfect to be doing it. Now more than ever it really is the right time,” said City Councilmember Keith Powers.

Powers along with other speakers noted how timely the naming was as it coincided with talk of Roe v. Wade being overturned.

“Her words seemed utterly modern as if she knew some of the issues of her time would remain unresolved and urgent,” said Powers.

After hearing passages read by staff and the Roosevelt House scholars, the audience was guided to the third floor bridge to view the unveiling. Hidden until now with a thin sleeve cloth, the street sign was revealed when the Department Chair Anthony Brown with help from Raab, Powers and anthropology professor Nassy Brown. brought down the sleeve revealing the bright green sign underneath.

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